Worst of Screen

updated 12/25/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/25/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

SHOWGIRLS
Joe (Basic Instinct) Eszterhas wrote this lurid saga about a rather dim young woman (Elizabeth Berkley, quite a ways from her school days on Saved by the Bell) whose dream is to be a topless dancer in Vegas. And who said there were no good ideas anymore? This was the first NC-17 movie to receive a major release—an experiment in sleaze that failed miserably by every measure.

FAIR GAME
Cindy Crawford's beauty mark shows real acting promise in a ridiculous thriller punctuated by large explosions.

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Directed by Jodie Foster, this bitter, vulgar comedy does its damnedest to put a serious dent in reverence for Thanksgiving.

THE SCARLET LETTER
Demi Moore playing a Puritan? Robert Duvall dancing around a campfire with a dead deer on his head? As the credits put it with cheeky understatement, this was "loosely adapted" from the Nathaniel Hawthorne classic.

JOHNNY MNEMONIC/VIRTUOSITY
The double bill from cyber-hell. These violent, jumbly plotted techno-thrillers—one starring Keanu Reeves with a brush cut, the other, Denzel Washington with a weird bathyspheric hood over his head—were not quite as gripping as a computer manual.

STRANGE DAYS
Ralph Fiennes, a black marketeer in millennial Los Angeles, gets hold of the nastiest snuff video in history. To use a phrase from a previous epoch: grody to the max.

JUDGE DREDD
Just tack a fid to the end of the title. Sylvester Stallone got paid upwards of $20 million to play an extralegal executioner of what he pronounces "the lhuw"—as in "there oughta be a lhuw."

JADE
Another from the pen of Joe Eszterhas, the Arthur Murray of lap dancing. This unfathomable murder mystery stars Linda Fiorentino as a sadomasochistic femme fatale whose partners are ripe targets for blackmail. More stinky than kinky.

CONGO
A ludicrous adventure, based on a Michael Crichton novel, about a tribe of killer gorillas. This movie could give inaccurate, racially offensive, stupidly plotted Hollywood jungle flicks a bad name.

ACE VENTURA: WHEN NATURE CALLS
Jim Carrey, he of slack jaw and Astro Boy hair, remains two Stooges shy of a load—slow, clumsy and obvious—in a lousy sequel whose gags involve spitting, masturbation, bowels, all the usual fun stuff.

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